LOUISVILLE: Tiger Woods battled through back pain and struggled to fire a three-over-par 74 on Friday (Saturday in Manila) at the PGA Championship, missing the cut and leaving his future competitive plans uncertain.
The 14-time major champion, chasing the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, refused to listen to his injury-wracked body as the soreness he thought behind him returned on the practice range.
“It was sore. It went out on me on the range. Just had to play through it,” Woods said.
“It was telling me on the range probably wasn’t a good idea, but I’m not exactly a non-stubborn person.”
The former world number one, who has not won a major since taking the 2008 US Open while playing on a broken leg, managed to birdie two of the last four holes but finished on six-over 148 after 36 holes, five strokes beyond the cut line in a share of 117th place.
“That was tough. It was a long day,” Woods said. “I tried as hard as I could. That’s about all I’ve got. Unfortunately just didn’t play well.”
Woods withdrew from the final round at a World Golf Championships event last Sunday after straining his back, then waited until arriving on Wednesday before confirming he would play.
Woods, nagged by various knee and leg troubles over the past few years, stressed the latest injury is in a different location than that of a March 31 operation to ease a pinched nerve—one that sidelined him nearly four months—and said he had no regrets at playingthis week.
“When I fell out of that bunker last week, it’s the same feeling, the same pain and same spasms,” Woods said.
“Certainly very frustrating any time you have to sit out because of surgery and to deal with the things I’ve had to deal with this year. It’s no fun.”
Woods, who turns 39 in December, is now behind the major win pace of Nicklaus, who won one at age 38, two at 40 and his last at age 46 at the 1986 Masters.